The Operator’s Team Of Contributors

James Stejskal

US Special Forces Veteran

About the author

Present at the beginning of U.S. Army Special Forces’ involvement in CT operations, James Stejskal has written both the narrative history Special Forces Berlin and a series of Cold War espionage / special forces novels called “The Snake Eater Chronicles.” His two latest novels, Appointment in Tehran and Direct Legacy, describe what it was like to go through SF Berlin’s and SAS CQB training in the 1970s and 1980s.

Special Forces Berlin: Clandestine Cold War Operations of the US Army’s Elite, 1956-1990

The previously untold story of a Cold War spy unit, “one of the best examples of applied unconventional warfare in special operations history” (Small Wars Journal).

It is a little-known fact that during the Cold War, two US Army Special Forces detachments were stationed far behind the Iron Curtain in West Berlin. The existence and missions of the two detachments were highly classified secrets.

The massive armies of the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies posed a huge threat to the nations of Western Europe. US military planners decided they needed a plan to slow the expected juggernaut, if and when a war began. This plan was Special Forces Berlin. Their mission—should hostilities commence—was to wreak havoc behind enemy lines and buy time for vastly outnumbered NATO forces to conduct a breakout from the city. In reality, it was an ambitious and extremely dangerous mission, even suicidal. Highly trained and fluent in German, each of these one hundred soldiers and their successors was allocated a specific area. They were skilled in clandestine operations, sabotage, and intelligence tradecraft, and were able to act, if necessary, as independent operators, blending into the local population and working unseen in a city awash with spies looking for information on their every move.

Special Forces Berlin left a legacy of a new type of soldier, expert in unconventional warfare, that was sought after for other deployments, including the attempted rescue of American hostages from Tehran in 1979. With the US government officially acknowledging their existence in 2014, their incredible story can now be told—by one of their own.

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“Stejskal, who served 35 years with the U.S. Army Special Forces and the CIA, convincingly describes the mission’s progress, and does a good job building suspense even if the outcome is never in doubt. Fans of realistic espionage fiction will look forward to the sequel.” ― Publishers Weekly

“Fiction that reads like fact. Boots on the ground, real-life drama, rich with details only an insider could write… an outstanding book.” -John Stryker Meyer, MACV SOG Veteran and Author of Across The Fence: The Secret War in Vietnam

Berlin, 1979.

When the CIA’s most valuable spy is compromised, the Agency realizes it does not have the capability to bring him to safety. If he cannot evade the dreaded East German security service, the result will be chaos and a cascade of failures throughout the Agency’s worldwide operations.

Master Sergeant Kim Becker lived through the hell of Vietnam as a member of the elite Studies and Operations Group. When he lost one of his best men in a pointless operation, he began to question his mission. Now, he is serving with an even more secretive Army Special Forces unit based in Berlin on the front line of the Cold War.

The CIA turns to Becker’s team of unconventional warfare specialists to pull their bacon out of the fire. Becker and his men must devise a plan to get him out by whatever means possible. It’s a race against time to prepare and execute the plan while, alone in East Berlin, the agent must avoid his nemesis and play for time inside the hostile secret service headquarters he has betrayed.

One question remains — is the man worth the risk?

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The exciting new instalment from the Snake Eater Chronicles is set against the backdrop of the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis.

When radical Iranian students seize the U.S. Embassy compound in Tehran and take over fifty diplomats hostage the U.S. President has to negotiate with a government that wants only to humiliate the United States. When talks fail, the President must turn to the military to bring the Americans home by force.

As preparations are made for an audacious rescue, an American intelligence officer hides alone in a Tehran safehouse with a secret. He is protecting a powerful weapon known as the Perses Device, which is now at risk of being captured and employed against the United States. The Agency Director orders that it must be brought out at all costs.

But as a small American team clandestinely enters Tehran to lead the way for the rescue force, a traitor spills the secret and KGB Spetsnaz operatives begin their own search for the weapon.

At the last minute, one more American is added to the advance team—his sole mission is to get the Agency officer and the Perses device to safety.

When the rescue mission fails, only two Americans are left to run the gauntlet of enemy agents and get the weapon out.

Getting in was easy…

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At the height of the Troubles, a young American Special Forces soldier must find and stop his vengeful former comrade-in-arms before he carries out a devastating terrorist strike for the IRA. Once friends, they are now pawns on opposite sides of an ugly war.

It is the height of the Troubles and Northern Ireland lies under a shadow…

When Neil Fitzpatrick, a rogue Green Beret soldier, is recruited by the Irish Republican Army to help prepare a terrorist attack, Paul Stavros, his former teammate, is sent to stop him and bring him home alive. Fitzpatrick, the American son of an Irish rebel who was forced to flee his birthplace, is a Special Forces demolitions expert. Fitzpatrick knows his trade and has a personal agenda with the IRA.

Alarm bells erupt when the US government learns that Fitzpatrick has gone over to the IRA. The American public can’t find out that one of its elite soldiers is involved in terrorism and the US government won’t rely on the British to find him. They need someone who knows Fitzpatrick and how he operates. Who better than one of his former teammates?

Paul Stavros is also a Special Forces veteran. He knows little of the Irish Troubles but is about to learn. What he does know is how to fix problems and Neil has just become his biggest headache. But before Stavros can go operational, he must endure an arduous and hazardous selection process to be accepted by the joint SAS-intelligence cell that will back him up. The British aren’t happy with Stavros on their turf; they’d rather do the job themselves—quickly, cleanly, and terminally.

Once, Fitzpatrick and Stavros were comrades and friends. Now they are pawns on opposite sides of an ugly war where all is fair and no one is innocent. The British want to kill one, the IRA wants to kill the other. It’s a race to see who will be first.

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James Stejskal in:

Special Edition February 2022: Tactical Training

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Photos by James Stejskal